“How did your audition go?” That was a question I overheard last week on the campus of Carnegie Mellon University as a group of students walked by. Moments later, as I approached the “Walking to the Sky” sculpture, it was another reminder that this life is a journey to discovering who we are and where we want to go.
This week, as I celebrate another birthday, I’m reflecting on the journey and a few of the lessons learned along the way:
- Spend your time on what gives you energy. Being with my family; motivating others through speaking and my blog; surrounding myself with positive people; spending time with a friend, an elderly person, or a student; helping someone in need; bringing a creative idea or a message to life, and exercising – all give me energy. So that’s what I do.
- Have an attitude of gratitude. I wake up every morning and thank God that I can walk and get myself ready for the day. I see the sun shining and I am grateful. I sit in traffic and I know how fortunate I am to have a car and a meeting to go to. When gratitude lives in your heart, happiness lives in your mind, and love lives in your soul.
- Do things that take you out of your comfort zone. A few weeks ago I went ziplining for the first time. Knowing others are jumping 30,000 feet out of airplanes put this much closer to the ground activity into perspective. I grew from the experience and it prepared me for the next big thing, whatever it will be.
- Know what really matters to you. I care about people. Student achievement, employee engagement, community outreach, patient and customer care, health and wellness, children and the elderly all matter to me. When I can make an impact in any of these areas, I feel a true sense of purpose.
- Discern your calling. Years ago, I felt this nudging to learn a graphic software program so I took a class. A couple of months later, I accepted a position that relied upon my ability to write and publish a quarterly newsletter. We may not always understand why we’re doing what we do, but if we keep our hearts open to the will of God, he’ll show us the way.
Discovering who we are and where we want to go requires action and reflection. It’s a journey that is as important as the destination.